With signs of an improving economy, many Americans are planning to use their tax refunds to treat themselves or their families to a major purchase such as a new television or furniture, the National Retail Federation reports. According to NRF’s “2011 Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” conducted by BIGresearch, 13.2 percent of Americans will spend their refund on a big-ticket item, up from 12.5 percent last year.
“Despite the difficult unemployment situation across the country, Americans receiving a tax refund this year seem eager to plow this money back into the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “With sales momentum continuing to build, NRF is becoming more bullish about the economic recovery.” Still, with the economy also serving as a reminder that it’s best to be financially prepared for the worst, more people will also put their refunds away for a rainy day. Some 42.1 percent of respondents say they will do just that, vs. 40.3 percent in 2010, the NRF adds.
While some will toss frugality out the window, there are still 41.9 percent of consumers who plan to pay down debt, 11.9 percent will spend the funds on vacation, and 29.7 percent on everyday expenses.